At the top end of the facial and sensory injury compensation scale are the cases of total loss of sight or hearing, worth around £220,000 general damages.
More common are injuries which lead to partial loss of sight or impaired hearing. Examples include industrial deafness cases where prolonged exposure to noisy machinery at work causes hearing loss and/or tinnitus.
General Damages for Facial & Sensory Injuries
Le Fort Fractures of Frontal Facial Bones
Multiple Fractures of Facial Bones
Fractures of Nose or Nasal Complex
Fractures of Cheekbones
Fracture of Jaws
Damage to Teeth
Females – Scarring
Males – Scarring
Injuries Affecting Sight
Total blindness and deafness (in the region of)
Total blindness (in the region of)
Loss of sight in one eye with reduced vision in the remaining eye
Total loss of one eye
Complete loss of sight in one eye
Serious but incomplete loss of vision in one eye
Minor but permanent impairment of vision in one eye
Minor Eye Injuries
Transient Eye Injuries
Total Deafness and Loss of Speech
Total Loss of Hearing in one Ear
Partial Hearing Loss/Tinnitus
Mild with some hearing loss
Slight of occasional tinnitus with slight hearing loss
Damage to Hair
One recent case we dealt with involved a man who whilst carrying out repairs for an elderly relative in her boiler cupboard was exposed to a flammable material negligently left there by a workman. The material caused an explosion which damaged his hearing and he suffered from quite severe tinnitus.
He required prolonged treatment for the tinnitus (and post traumatic stress), both of which were funded by the Defendant’s insurers as the claim progressed, and the case settled for £60,000 damages.
Damages for fractures to facial bones range from £1000 for a broken nose (with full early recovery) to £20,000 or more for serious fractures to the jaw or frontal bones which require surgery and which leave longer term symptoms. Often facial bone fracture cases will involve other injuries, such as scarring, concussion or other head injury.
Facial scarring cases can be difficult to value and the range of awards is wide. A small well healed scar above the hair line will be of little or no cosmetic significance but the same scar on the bridge of the nose can be very obvious and will sometimes cause the accident victim serious anxiety. It is important to remember that the victim’s subjective reaction is relevant.
The Defendant must take the Claimant as he finds him, which means that the Claimant who suffers a severe psychological reaction to an injury, perhaps because of a constitutional vulnerability, is entitled to compensation for the full extent of their injury, even if another person may have got over the effect of the same injury without any difficulty.
Facial scars are often amenable to scar revision plastic surgery, and the private cost of the procedure is usually claimable as an item of special damage.
Personal injury compensation is divided into two main categories, one for the injuries themselves (general damages) and a second for the financial losses caused by the injury (special damage). This second category includes compensation for loss of earnings, care, and medical expenses.